Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My thoughts on a racing weekend gone by....

Hello and welcome back to My thoughts on a racing weekend gone by. The racing here in Central PA is winding down folks, but that doesn't mean it's not as hot as the weather in July. Friday night the 410's and 358's were in action at Williams Grove Speedway and Saturday night the mighty 410's were at Lincoln Speedway. Friday night was the last chance for the 410's to get ready for the biggest race of 2015 Champion Racing Oil National Open with the World of Outlaws and $50,000 on the line.

Time Trials would set the feature event and Stevie Smith would find victory lane for the 9th time in 2015. Brent Marks would lead the first half of the feature event but 4th starting Smith would run him down and after making the pass, would walk away with the win, making sure everyone knows the 51 team will be the team to beat this coming weekend. And folks if you got the first pick in your friends race poll, and Smith starts in the front three rows, you better take him.

The 358 division saw the closest point battle in sprint car racing come to a head Friday night. Chase Dietz would go into the final race of 2015 with a 20 point lead over Doug Hammaker who has set records this season with his title wins. Kevin Nouse would be on his way to his first win of the season when once again bad luck would strike the two time defending champion. As Dietz was tracking Nouse over the last five laps they took the white flag, and both headed into turn one when disaster struck Nouse for the 5th week in a row. Nouse shot low to protect the bottom as Dietz shot to the outside running the extreme high side of the track, but while setting up for another last lap last corner pass, Jared Esh, the son of 410 driver Doug Esh making his first ever 358 start, would spin in turn two right in front of Nouse. Nouse would try to make a move to get by Esh but made contact with Esh and ended up with damage to his rear end, ending his night. Dietz would take over the lead for the last lap restart and would run away from Doug Hammaker for his 4th win of the season. With the win Chase would win the battle and the war as he would be crowned the 2015 Williams Grove Speedway 358 track champion. Somehow he was also crowned the 2015 358 rookie of the year (sic). Now I know all about the rules regarding "Rookies" in a division, hell I crowned Niki Young the 2011 Central PA 358 Point Series rookie of the year. It has become the biggest mistake I have made with the 358 division because Austin Hogue should have won the rookie of the year title that year, and Williams Grove should have given the rookie of the year to someone else. Looking at the point standings Russel Hammaker was the top true rookie in the division, so in my opinion he should have been crowned the rookie of the year. That would be like Brian Brown from Knoxville running Williams Grove and winning the rookie of the year. Just doesn't make any sense. But that's just me.

Saturday night Lincoln Speedway would host the $20,000 to win "Dirt Classic". Forty One cars where pit side and fan favorite Brian Montieth would pick up his biggest win of his career. Montieth would chase down Friday night's winner Stevie Smith in lapped traffic on lap 27 of the 40 lap feature event, and would have a great battle with Smith the final thirteen laps before finally getting that big time win. The racing action was top notch Saturday night, and even with all the laps on the track, Fred Putney would give the drivers, and the fans a great racing surface. Last years "Dirt Classic" was a snoozer  of a feature event, but this year they gave the fans one hell of a show. I'm still not a fan of time trials, duel heat race format mostly because because nobody can figure it out, but it seems to be working. The race has become one of the better paying races in Central PA from top to bottom. While it doesn't pay $50,000 to win like this weekends National Open, IMO it pays way better back through the field which makes it a much better paying race for the race teams.

Speaking of race teams, where were all the Port Royal teams on Saturday night? THREE cars, let me repeat that three race teams came down from Port Royal to race for $20,000 to win. Greg Hodnett, Brent Marks, and Lucas Wolfe where the only three teams. I seem to remember a member of the Weikert family running off at the lip two years ago because Brian Montieth didn't make the trip to Port for the Weikert Memorial. Anyone remember the old saying....People in glass houses should be throwing stones.... Well guess what?.......

Don't forget folks this coming Monday, the 2nd annual Central PA Racing Scene Awards will be voted on by you the fans. We here at the site have chosen the top six drivers in eight categories ranging from the 410's to the 305's, to the best race track in Central PA. The members here at the site will cast their vote on who they think should win, and the fans will cast their votes for the driver they think should win. The winner of the fans vote will then be matched up with the six of us here at the website. The driver who gets the most votes will be crowned the winner.  This is not strictly a fan vote like a most popular driver award. Look for all the drivers and categories to be announced later this week.

This weekend is the biggest weekend in Central PA. Everyone who loves sprint car racing will be watching Williams Grove Speedway. The newly expanded three day Williams Grove Champion Racing Oil National Open is finally here. Three nights of TT and double file restarts. 

Don't forget folks there will be more to do over the weekend then just get drunk, sleep in all day, and then watch cars go around in circles while downing ice cold beer until you get dizzy and fall over. Friday marks the 4th annual Williams Grove National Open Kick-It kickball tournament that will be starting at noon right up the road from the race track. Come on out and watch drivers, fans, and even a few media personalities have some fun while raising money for cancer research. Saturday marks the 6th annual National Open Benefit that will be hosted by Kolten Gouse who utilizes the proceeds from an event BBQ as well as a memorabilia auction to help support various charities throughout the racing community. In 2014, the main beneficiaries were the York County Racing, the World of Outlaws Benevolent Fund and the Steve King Foundation. Make sure you stop over and get yourself some great food and help raise some money for some great causes. Just make sure you all save me a 2x t-shirt for my collection.

I am hoping to make all three nights of the National Open, so if anyone has a seat for me on Thursday night, I will gladly use it. Until then everyone who is getting to the track early this week, be safe,and have fun. The rest of us will be up to join you as soon as we can. Go Posse....and Boooo Schatz. The Champion Racing Oil National Open at Williams Grove Speedway.

Until this Thursday folks, I hope the next 3 days goes quick, the weather stays a little warm, your beverage of choice stays ice cold, and the racing all weekend is red freakin hot, because folks it's time for the best weekend of the year.

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